5 Types of Freezers | Popular Freezer Types

Types of Freezers

There are five types of freezers in the market: refrigerator, chest, mini, walk-in, and drawer.

Knowing the size, capacity, features, energy efficiency, organization options, and the average cost of each freezer type will help you determine which one is suitable for your kitchen and whether it is the right appliance for your household or business.

For instance, a mini freezer is ideal for a small kitchen or room, while a chest freezer suits a restaurant that needs to store ingredients delivered in bulk. 

You may also consider buying a freezer vs deep freezer depending on how long you need to preserve food items. The latter can store ingredients longer and in higher quantities than the former. 

Having a nuanced understanding of the different freezers available in the market, including their strengths and weaknesses, can guide you in choosing the type that meets your kitchen needs. 

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What are the different types available for a freezer?

The different types of freezers are refrigerator, chest, mini, walk-in, and drawer.

The following list includes the different types of freezers available in the market:

  • Refrigerator freezer

A refrigerator freezer is a freezer attached to a refrigerator. Many households have a refrigerator-freezer combination.

Refrigerator freezers – also called upright freezers – provide height and less floor space than other types like the chest freezer. The vertical design makes these freezers suitable for home use, especially for a small kitchen, as it allows easy access at eye level.

  • Chest freezer

A chest freezer is a freezer that opens like a chest. Chest freezers are shaped like a rectangle or cube, making it easy to store large items.

Chest freezers – also called reach-in freezers – are often found in commercial spaces like restaurants, hotels, and groceries. 

They are ideal for storing large or high amounts of meat, frozen and microwave meals, and ice cream tubs. They are designed like a box with lids on top, which open upwards. 

While chest freezers have a large storage capacity ranging from 2.1 to 40 cubic feet, they take up space in the kitchen, which is not ideal for a small room. 

Most units do not have a fan, which can cause inconsistency in temperature. The bottom section of a chest freezer is typically cooler than the top area, which is why most restaurants store meets underneath. 

  • Mini freezer

A mini freezer is a smaller version of a standard freezer, usually about 3.5-cubic feet in size. Mini-freezers store smaller items, like beverages or vegetables.

Mini freezers have a smaller storage capacity compared to chest and refrigerator-freezers. They are portable and designed to store up to 210–315 pounds (95–143 kilograms), accommodating four to six people. 

Mini freezers are ideal for small offices, dormitory rooms and a double bedroom as they do not occupy as much space as a chest freezer does. 

  • Walk-in freezer

A walk-in freezer is a large, insulated space used by commercial businesses to store frozen food.

Walk-in freezers are typically used in the foodservice industry as they offer bulk storage capacity. They are similar to a chest freezer, except that walk-in freezers provide better access because users can walk into the freezer and store weeks' worth of frozen ingredients delivered in one go.   

  • Drawer freezer

A drawer freezer is a pull-out freezer that sits below a refrigerator for each access.

Drawer freezers are designed to meet both residential and catering needs. Thanks to multiple stacks and drawers, they offer flexibility in accessing and arranging items. Children and the disabled can access food stored in drawer freezers easily.

These freezers sit in the higher range of the budget and are typically more expensive than all the other types of freezers.


What are the different ways to use a freezer?

The different ways to use a freezer include: 

  1. Prolong the life of your scented candles
  2. Freshen up your denim jeans
  3. Freshen up smelly shoes, and stretch tight ones
  4. Make your makeup last longer
  5. Store and preserve your seed

The primary use of freezers involves freezing and preserving food products such as microwave meals, vegetables, meats, desserts, bread, fresh herbs, cold packs, and bananas. 

Here are eight other uses of a freezer:

Prolong the life of your scented candles. Do you want to make your favorite candles last longer? Then store your brand new candle in the freezer overnight before lighting it up. Chilling wax makes it burn slower than usual. For certain candles, it can even prevent dripping.

Freshen up your denim jeans. If you want to rid your favorite denim of bacteria and terrible smell, then put a pair of jeans in a canvas bag. Place it inside the freezer overnight. The freezing temperature kills odor-causing bacteria, freshening up your jeans without the risk of fading, shrinking or loosening up the fabric. 

Freshen up your smelly shoes, and stretch tight ones. The same principle applies with smelly shoes; just put the pair in an airtight bag and leave it in the freezer overnight. If you have tight shoes and breaking them in takes a long time, then place a bag of water inside each shoe before putting them in the freezer, stretching them gently over time.

Make your makeup last longer. Put lipsticks, natural beauty products and eyeliner in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. If you use any makeup only on special occasions, store them in the freezer instead.

Store and preserve your seed. You can keep leftover seeds for your next plant project. Make sure to keep the seeds dry before placing them in an airtight container or bag and finally into the freezer.

Once you learn how to use a freezer, you’ll find it has many use cases involving storing and preserving food products.

What sizes do the freezers come in?

Freezers are designed in various shapes and sizes, ranging in capacity from three cubic feet for a mini freezer to 2,300 cubic feet for a standard drawer freezer. 

Here are the approximate capacities for each freezer type:

Refrigerator freezer ranges from a compact unit at 3 to 5 cubic feet to large at 17+ cubic feet.

Chest freezer: Chest freezers have a large storage capacity ranging from 2.1 to 40 cubic feet

Mini freezer: Mini or portable freezers store up to 210–315 pounds (95–143 kilograms)

Walk-in freezer: Walk-in freezers can be as tiny as 4 feet by 6 feet and as large as 10 feet by 14 feet in cubic feet capacity.

Drawer freezer: A standard drawer freezer can store as much as 2,300 cubic feet.

What foods can be preserved in different freezers?

The foods that can be frozen in different freezers are listed below:

  • Microwave meals
  • Vegetables
  • Meats
  • Desserts
  • Bread
  • Fresh herbs
  • Cold packs
  • Bananas

What determines the best freezer type? 

The best freezer type can be determined by the following: size, cost, energy efficiency, organization, extra features, brand and type.

Size. When shopping for a freezer, consider how much storage capacity you need and if you have enough room for a small or full-sized freezer. Perhaps a mini freezer would suffice if you plan to buy one for you and your roommate. If you're running a restaurant and expect bulk deliveries, then you may want to opt for a chest, walk-in or drawer freezer.

Cost. Consider your budget when shopping for a freezer. Look into both the short-term cost and how much you will need to spend over time. Freezers run 24/7, so it is crucial to look into their long-term energy usage, which brings us to the next point.

Energy efficiency. How much energy does a type of freezer use? Does it have energy-saving features? Does it have a high energy rating, i.e. Energy Star? Pick a model that helps you save energy and the environment.

Organization. Upright, drawer, and walk-in freezers may provide easier access than chest models. If you plan to use your freezer to reach out for food and beverage items regularly, you need to consider how the shelves, drawers, and stacks are organized. If you plan on storing and preserving ingredients without having to access them or view an inventory often, then a chest freezer would be suitable.

Extra features. Specific models have features that others don't have, such as the following:

  • freezer locks, which is ideal for keeping children from leaving the door and lid open
  • soft freeze to keep ice cream fresh and not too rigid
  • dial thermostat, which shows the temperature and makes it easy to control
  • blackout features, indicating how long it can hold items inside frozen during blackouts or power outages

Brand and model. Some brands are recognized for their quality and high consumer ratings. Depending on the brand and type, freezers may come in various price points, from $150 to $5,000. Picking a suitable freezer may involve looking into how reliable brands are and their product range.

Are chest freezers safe?

Chest freezers are safe provided an intentional and thoughtful use. 

There are a few, albeit isolated, incidents involve children climbing into chest freezers and getting locked in.  These can be avoided by making sure that chest freezers are kept closed and locked. 

Some models are designed with freezer locks, which keep children from opening and climbing into chest freezers, and a door alarm that beeps when the lid is left open.

What is the average price for a freezer?

The average price for a freezer ranges between $150-$5,000. Prices are based on size, brand, features, energy efficiency, and type of freezer.

Smaller and compact freezers on the counter are on the lower end of the range. Larger freezers, like standalone or those attached to a refrigerator, are on the higher end of the spectrum. 

Drawer freezers are the most expensive of all the types of freezers because of their large capacity, which can go all the way to 2,300 cubic feet.

What is the lifespan of different freezers? 

The average lifespan of a freezer is 12-20 years. 

A freezer's length depends on the frequency of use, maintenance and repairs, routine upkeep, initial quality, brand and model, and the type of freezer.   

How does the freezer type affect the chilling process? 

The freezer type affects the chilling process based on the storage capacity and organization of the unit. 

Chest freezers have a more efficient chilling process than upright ones. Cold air is kept more tightly in chest freezers and does not escape as quickly as in refrigerator models.

Some chest freezers do not have a fan, which can cause inconsistency in temperature. The bottom section of a chest freezer is typically cooler than the top area, which is why most restaurants store meats underneath. 

Energy efficiency is also based on internal volume and storage capacity. If you have a large freezer and only store a handful of small items, then the unit may not chill the ingredients as efficiently as when it is at total capacity. Leaving more space inside allows more room for warm air to flow around, requiring more energy to run. 

What effect does freezer type have on taste? 

Freezer types do not have any effect on taste. 

A freezer type may affect the texture of food items based on available features. For instance, if your freezer has a soft freeze option, it may store and preserve ice cream better than those without this feature. Turning the “soft freeze” mode on lets your ice cream maintain its original consistency without freezing it too much and making you scoop harder.

Freezer Types

Is it better to use chest freezers or drawer freezers in the kitchen?

Determining whether it’s better to use chest or drawer freezers in the kitchen depends on kitchen space and ease of access for the users. 

Kitchen usability refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use. When choosing between chest and drawer freezers, consider your kitchen space or how appliances can be organized next to each other for optimal space and functionality. 

Chest freezers are typically larger and bulkier than drawer freezers. Because of their size and form, chest freezers may not fit easily into standard kitchen layouts, especially when there is limited space and there are large appliances alongside them. 

Chest freezers also do not show how food and beverage items are stacked next to each other, so if you need to conduct a regular inventory of ingredients, they are not the suitable type of freezer for you. Drawer freezers provide more flexibility and options for organizing items such that they are easier to see and access.

Chest freezers may be challenging to use for short users or those with back pain as it will require them to bend over or tiptoe to reach the bottom of the freezer. Drawer freezers may address these challenges because of their push-and-pull feature.

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